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The iCLEM Program: An Atypical Summer Job for Bay Area High School Students

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Eight Bay Area high school students are participating in this summer’s iCLEM program, earning money and gaining “college knowledge” while conducting bioenergy research in the state-of-the-art scientific laboratories of the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI).

First Ab Initio Method for Characterizing Hot Carriers Could Hold the Key to Future Solar Cell Efficiencies

A new and better way to study “hot” carriers in semiconductors, a major source of efficiency loss in solar cells, has been developed by scientists at Berkeley Lab. (Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt)

Berkeley Lab researchers have developed the first ab initio method for characterizing the properties of “hot carriers” in semiconductors. This should help clear a major road block to the development of new, more efficient solar cells.

Postcards from the Photosynthetic Edge

Photosytem II utilizes a water-splitting manganese-calcium enzyme that when energized by sunlight catalyzes a four photon-step cycle of oxidation states that ultimately yields molecular oxygen.

Using the world’s most powerful x-ray laser, an international collaboration led by Berkeley Lab researchers took femtosecond “snapshots” of water oxidation in photosystem II, the only known biological system able to harness sunlight for splitting the water molecule. The results should help advance the development of artificial photosynthesis for clean, green and renewable energy.

Advanced Light Source Provides New Look at Skyrmions: Results Hold Promise for Spintronics

Advanced Light Source images of a Cu2SeO3 sample show five sets of dual-peak skyrmion structures, highlighted by the white ovals. The dual peaks represent the two skyrmion sub-lattices that rotate with respect to each other. All peaks fall on an arc (dotted line) representing the constant amplitude of the skyrmion wave vector.

At Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source, researchers for the first time have used x-rays to observe and study skyrmions, subatomic quasiparticles that could play a key role in future spintronic technologies.

The JBEI GT Collection: A New Resource for Advanced Biofuels Research

The JBEI GT Collection, the first glycosyltransferase clone collection specifically targeted for the study of plant cell wall biosynthesis, features GT clones of rice (shown here) and Arabidopsis plants. (Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt)

The JBEI GT Collection, the first glycosyltransferase clone collection specifically targeted for the study of plant cell wall biosynthesis, is expected to drive basic scientific understanding of GTs and better enable the manipulation of plant cell walls for the production of biofuels and other chemical products.

Dynamic Spectroscopy Duo

2D-EV spectral data tells researchers how photoexcitation of a molecular system affects the coupling of electronic and vibrational degrees of freedom that is essential to understanding how all molecules, molecular systems and nanomaterials function.

Berkeley Lab researchers have developed a new technique called two-dimensional electronic-vibrational spectroscopy that can be used to study the interplay between electrons and atomic nuclei during a photochemical reaction. Photochemical reactions are critical to a wide range of natural and technological phenomena, including photosynthesis, vision, nanomaterials and solar energy.

Manipulating and Detecting Ultrahigh Frequency Sound Waves

Gold plasmonic nanostructures shaped like Swiss-crosses can convert laser light into ultrahigh frequency (10GHz) sound waves.

Berkeley Lab researchers have demonstrated a technique for detecting and controlling ultrahigh frequency sound waves at the nanometer scale. This represents an advance towards next generation ultrasonic imaging with potentially 1,000 times higher resolution than today’s medical ultrasounds.

Evolution of a Bimetallic Nanocatalyst

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Atomic-scale snapshots of a bimetallic nanoparticle catalyst in action could help improve the industrial process by which fuels and chemicals are synthesized from natural gas, coal or plant biomass.

2D Transistors Promise a Faster Electronics Future

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Faster electronic device architectures are in the offing with the unveiling of the world’s first fully two-dimensional field-effect transistor (FET) by researchers with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). Unlike conventional FETs made from silicon, these 2D FETs suffer no performance drop-off under high voltages and provide high electron mobility, even when scaled to a

Lighting the Way to Graphene-based Devices: Berkeley Lab Researchers Use Light to Dope Graphene Boron Nitride Heterostructures

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Berkeley Lab researchers have demonstrated a technique whereby semiconductors made from graphene and boron nitride can be charge-doped to alter their electronic properties using only visible light.